Credit Cards

For everything else there’s MasterCard

Have you seen the television commercial that begins with a little boy’s sleepover gone awry?

A sleepy looking man clad in his bathrobe and pyjamas is driving a station wagon. He pulls to the curb in front of a large suburban home and walks toward the front door, the narrator’s voice details the "Cost of a sleeping bag: $40. Cost of a backpack: $18. Cost of walkie-talkies: $25."

This year you decide 

Now that Christmas is past, for another year, do you know how much is your total credit card debt, or will that be a surprise for you sometime in January?

Do you know your credit card facts?

Credit card fees are negotiable – True

You may be paying up to $120.00 a year or more as an annual fee per credit card depending on the credit grantor and the type of card you are carrying. You may also be subject to finance and interest charges of over 23% or higher. If you are a “good” customer, (in other words you pay your account on time each month) the creditor may be willing to drop the annual fee and reduce the interest rate – all you have to do is ask. If the creditor refuses look for a different card.

Identity theft

Picture this scenario: You are standing in the line up ready to pay for your new shoes, the store is busy, it is hot and cranky people are everywhere. Just as the clerk rings in your purchase and tells you that will be $112.50. You reach into your wallet for your Visa card and your credit card is gone. Frantic, you search your purse, your pockets; you check your other packages, the floor where you are standing, but no card. Your heart is pounding! You are feeling sick to your stomach. Then you rush out to your car, no card there either, you race home and search everywhere, but all to no avail.

The card is gone – misplaced or worse stolen!

Who is in charge: you or your debts?

The bills are piling up on the counter, you have stopped opening the mail and you no longer answer the phone anymore for fear of who is calling. The mortgage and the car loan are paid up to date, but Visa, MasterCard, Sears, Zellers and student loans are all behind in payments.

If you or anyone you know has ever experienced the mind-numbing anxiety associated with not being able to pay your creditors, read on. This is for you.